Wednesday 17 September 2014

Tian Tian vs Ah Tai chicken rice: Maxwell Food Centre Singapore Review

Chicken rice, the dish every tourist and local must have whilst in Singapore. Anthony Bourdain loves the stuff and whilst Singaporeans will tell you it is not their most tasty dish, it is their most popular. Unfortunately, I don’t see why, and despite the cheap price fail to be wowed by it every time I have eaten it. And yet, it is a dish that you will crave on the most random of occasions, purely for its simplicity.

Tian Tian
Poached chicken, rice cooked in that chicken broth, slices of cucumber, glue like thick soy sauce and fragrant chilli sauce…that is it.

Tian Tian chicken rice at Maxwell is voted the best by locals and every Lonely Planet toting tourist will be there, so when you reach Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown simply look for the longest queue. $3.50 for a plate of it or go half/full chicken for bigger groups and make sure to ask for the soy sauce or you may not get it. 

The chicken breast is soft, maybe too soft and you may find it watery, the rice is delicate and of good quality but what makes the Tian Tian stall is without doubt the chilli sauce. Yes it is hot but unlike its competitors it is fragrant and has depth so load up on it.

Ah Tai
I have eaten here five times and the most recent time it was disappointing, maybe their new restaurant outlet is distracting the chefs and personally I find Ah Tai better, without the long queue, and only a few feet away. Previously working at Tian Tian the chef has all the same highlights of said stall without the downsides, I would go there.

I still fail to see what made the dish so popular or at least why it is not called chilli soy chicken rice because without those condiments the dish is just that…chicken, and rice.

But you always want more.

Maxwell Food Centre
Funnily enough when I was a student at NTU in one of the main food halls, the chicken rice was damn good and easily matched Tian Tian (particularly the chilli) so maybe an adventurous tourist wants to try there.

Rating: 8/10
Expect to pay: $3.50
Would we go back: Yes
Any freebies: No
Tian Tian Chicken Rice
Stall #10
Maxwell Food Centre
Chinatown MRT 

Ah Tai
Stall #7
Maxwell Food Centre
Chinatown MRT 

1 comment:

  1. Both the dishes look delicious, I can't visit stall but what I can do is search for recipe online and try it out at home. Good post